Thursday morning, Amy Schumer took a break from catching the old D to tweet a picture of her and Jennifer Lawrence riding a jet ski. Two beloved female celebrities enjoying an aquatic activity together? Finally, the Internet has realized its potential to be so much more than just a DoD-funded government weapon in the Cold War/free porn provider!
Contrary to recent reports from a daydream I just had, Schumer and Lawrence are not filming a lakeside remake of Thelma & Louise in which everything is feminist, everyone survives, and nothing hurts. Rather, they’re engaging in a little known celebrity rite called forging A-list friendships, in which beautiful people circle one another slowly before rising on their hind legs to snap a series of enviable, candid Instagrams. Famous social media friend groups (FSMFGs, for those of us in the “biz” of manufacturing phenomena) range from jealousy-inducing (the entire cast of Degrassi is hanging out without me?!) to self-harm-inducing (for an entire generation of young women who will always hate themselves for not looking like Karlie Kloss). Looking at you, Swift.
Famous people are generally ensconced in a cocoon of fantasy, physically barred from entering reality by our obsessive celebrity culture, alienated and alone. But together, these beautiful, heavily monitored zoo animals can finally cut loose, bonding over their blindingly white teeth, busy schedules, and general physical superiority. Because at the end of the day, isn’t that what friends are for? No? Whatever.
On the glamorous end of the spectrum are the girls next door who couldn’t look less like anyone you grew up with: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Aniston. With highlights so bright and shiny that they can only be viewed directly through a welder’s glass or black polymer filter, this clique is Hollywood’s answer to the group of beautiful mean girls in your high school who were totally flawless and probably bulimic. From awards show selfies featuring priceless dresses to vacation pics at unfathomably expensive resort destinations, everything that these actresses do will serve to invalidate your own life decisions. This girl group lifestyle is “attainable” in the same way that Goop is a “thing”: it isn’t, it never was, my hair will never be as sun-kissed as Drew Barrymore’s and I will never buy a thousand-dollar maternity candle that’s been handcrafted from my own afterbirth. Next!
If you are a famous young person then you will become one of Taylor Swift’s closest friends, even if she has to kill you and Weekend at Bernie’s your beautiful, skinny body on stage with her, forcing Lena Dunham to carry your limp corpse while Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss smile blankly at the crowd.
Swift is like the Volturi of the celebrity friend group scene: She carefully curates her girl group, she doesn’t take no for an answer, she’s unnaturally pale and totally terrifying. Her lady clique features models Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt, and Kendall Jenner, singers like Selena Gomez and the Haim sisters, and Lena Dunham.
The crew’s #squadgoals appear to be making Lena Dunham feel like “a runaway cellist” and breaking the spirits of swappable, compliant man-things, like dead-eyed Joe Jonas and Calvin Harris, who gets to be in Taylor Swift’s Instagrams because he has abs. Speaking of Instagram, Swift’s clique boasts the most carefully curated social media presence of any friend group ever. Each Taylor Insta looks like it’s been workshopped for months on a Pinterest account and/or inspiration board, carefully designed to illicit more awe than a Meek Mill Twitter feud and more aww’s than a Malia Obama Father’s Day #TBT. This is not amateur hour, people.
Pegged to Swift’s super squad, there’s the rare spinoff that’s way more appealing than its original. This friendlier, less intimidatingly leggy girl group encompasses Dunham, designer Rachel Antonoff, extremely jaded young adult Tavi Gevinson, amazing human Jenny Slate, and Parenthood’s Mae Whitman and Sarah Ramos. This creative group of ladies can often be found rocking Peter Pan collars at artfully nonchalant dinner parties, supporting one another’s art, and standing for Planned Parenthood. If there is a God, you and your friend group will one day bump into this friend group and have boozy brunch.
It’s easy to dismiss Canada as America’s weird, unsettlingly polite upstairs neighbor that’s also still a colony or something. But without Canada, we wouldn’t have Degrassi: The Next Generation, the beloved TV show that taught a generation how to rock a whale tail, and introduced America to a group of Canadian teen stars who are miraculously still friends. Combinations of Lauren Collins, Jake Epstein, Adamo Ruggiero, Shane Kippel, and Stacey Farber (Paige, Craig, Marco, Spinner, and Ellie) have been popping up on Instagram ever since these regular cast members were shuffled off the cyclical drama.
Frequent Degrassi TBT’s are enough to leave any fan salivating—come for the yung Drake, stay for the pics of an adorable young cast that genuinely liked each other.
And while Ellie and Craig didn’t end up together IRL, onscreen besties Emma and Manny (Miriam McDonald and Cassie Steele) are actually off-screen partners in crime (and in Canada).
Also noted Degrassi alum/6 God Drake Instagram’d with Stacey Farber in 2013. Jimmy!
So while we’re all for your fan favorite friendship, JLaw and Amy Schumer, you have a long way to go to achieve genuine celebrity friend group status. Try joining forces with coveted BFF’s Tina Fey and Amy Poehler—then we’ll talk.